Here, Peter Baldwin shares his experience of selling an NHS orthodontic practice to a corporate.
Which consultant in Dental Elite did you work with?
“The sale was overseen by Paul Wilkinson who was very approachable, helpful and offered some great advice. He kept us well informed on the progress of the brokerage and the activity of the potential buyer.”
How quickly did you accept an offer?
“Within two weeks of meeting the buyer we had an offer, but as further negotiation was required it was several months before we accepted a final offer. It could have been settled sooner, but we were determined to secure associate contracts that met our requirements, as we didn’t want three years of misery!”
What was the most challenging time in your sale?
“From the minute we accepted an offer right up until completion the transaction was frustrating, as some of the terms that had been verbally agreed with the buyer were ‘forgotten’ or dismissed. By the end of the process there was little trust remaining from our side in the buyer’s acquisition team.”
What advice would you give to future sellers?
“Don’t accept the first offer! What’s more, if the buyer is from a corporate body, don’t accept their default associate contract; negotiate every little item within this to ensure the terms suit your needs as well as theirs. Choosing an experienced legal representative will help with this.
“If you’re selling a practice with an NHS orthodontic contract be sure to plan your exit strategy well in advance. For us, our contract was the reason for wanting to sell the practice as we had 18 months left and didn’t want to be in a position where we could lose the contract and the value of the practice (along with the goodwill) plummeted. To secure our exit we made sure that we found a buyer that was interested in the practice even with 18 months of the contract remaining.”
Why did you choose Dental Elite?
“We were aware of Dental Elite’s services and what they could do as we had received a number of flyers, so when it came time to sell we gave them a call.”
How long did the whole process take?
“From initial contact with Dental Elite to completion the transaction took eight months.”
How far in advance of marketing did you have a valuation?
“It was almost immediate. Within a couple of days of contacting Dental Elite, Paul carried out a valuation before reaching out to the corporate that we eventually sold to.”
When did you tell the staff?
“We chose to inform the staff about a month after we accepted the offer, as we wanted to deliver the news before our welcome meeting with the corporate’s representatives. Personally, I think it’s best to avoid staff finding out that way, so I would advise that they are told as early as possible.”